It takes a certain confident self-regard to footnote an Apostolic Exhortation with your favorite movie. But hey, if the Bear ever got to write one of those, it would be peppered with quotes from Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. Like: Captain America: "Yeah, big man in a suit of armor. Take that off and what are you?" Tony Stark: "Genius, billionaire playboy philanthropist."
What would it mean? Who knows? But it cracks the Bear up every time, and he would rather be Tony Stark than anyone else in the world, because Iron Man is even more awesome than a Bear. Unless a Bear could fly and shoot lasers out of his paws. In fact, he would hire the screenwriters for the Marvel Avengers movies and let them write his Apostolic Exhortations.
Don't tell the Bear he can't do that. They would be better than that guy who wrote, "Burn Me With the Kisses of Your Mouth, Oh, Yes, Yes!" who ghosted the pope's other... thing, the title of which escapes the Bear. (And we worry so much about these bloated, wretched messes with the shelf life of fresh salmon.)
By now, you are no doubt familiar with the Bear's lengthy, self-indulgent introductions to his articles. So accompany the Bear as we walk together, discussing the Pope's supposedly favorite movie, "Babette's Feast." The Bear even watched somewhere between "some" and "much" to qualify himself as a reviewer.
"Babette's Feast" is a movie made in the second half of the last century in a foreign language. Maybe because it is set in Sweden, or some other gray, cold place. The main characters are some sort of crazy Puritan Prophet and his two spinster daughters. Under the baleful influence of a joyless religion with a bunch of rules (get it?) everybody wears black and makes themselves miserable. A bowl of tepid gruel is as close as they get to a good time.
The film's slow pace, excessive use of voiceovers, self-conscious artsiness and drab palette actually makes the viewer experience the depression of the island's religious (get it?) inhabitants.
Then the eponymous Babette shows up, having escaped from the Russian Revolution. She works as the spinsters' housekeeper in return for room and board. But every month, Babette buys one Powerball ticket, always playing her birthday.
In a completely surprising twist, Babette wins 650,000,000 kroners in the lottery. Babette could do anything. Get away from the awful town and creepy religious people who lack joy, for example. The Bear sure would, maybe eating them all first to put them out of their religion-induced misery. ("Bear's Feast.")
Then the pastor, who has always been suspicious of Babette and her chocolate shop, which is right across the street from his joyless religious church guiltily samples the chocolate and is transported with delight.
Hold on, that's another marginally better foreign movie about up-tight religious people.
To be honest, the Bear snoozed a bit, but, judging by the rest of the movie, is fairly certain nothing happened.
So then Babette blows all her winnings to prepare a big feast for the creepy religious cultists. Since the feast is ostensibly to celebrate the 100th birthday of the original Prophet, the townsfolk pretty much have to attend. But they devise a clever scheme to stay true to their joyless religion full of rules.
They agree to pretend not to enjoy themselves. As a member in good standing of a joyless religion full of rules, the Bear must say this is the stupidest thing he's ever seen. What, we joyless religious types can wallow in the fleshpots of Egypt, just as long as we act like we're having a bad time? We're supposed to believe that this somehow would make sense to tepid-gruel slurping fanatics?
The Bear stopped watching and put a frozen pizza in the oven. It was great. He never got around to watching the rest of the movie, but assumes the joyless religious people had their lives changed by the selfless act of Babette's Feast.
The Bear gives the pretentious, heavy-handed and boring "Babette's Feast" two out of five fish.
"Babette's Feast" isn't anyone's favorite movie. It's one of those movies people say is their favorite movie when they want to impress you, like "Au Revoir les Infants" (not that it's a bad film). "Babette's Feast" is slow, drab, emotionally low, odd, predictable and moralistic in that way filmmakers love where the cool non-religious outsider comes in to shake joyless religious people out of their joylessness through chocolate ("Chocolat") or dancing ("Footloose") or feasting, and above all, their genuineness and/or natural non-religious goodness.
"Iron Man." Just being honest.